Movie review: One joke of 'Bad Grandpa' can't hold up for 90 minutes
Johnny Knoxville tries something different staying in character in the latest "Jackass"-related movie, "Bad Grandpa," a hidden-camera comedy that emphasizes stranger discomfort over physical stunts.
Knoxville dons old-age makeup to play Irving Zisman, a recent widower in Nebraska who is tasked with taking his roly-poly 8-year-old grandson, Billy (Jackson Nicoll, from "Fun Size"), to his deadbeat dad in North Carolina. The ensuing road trip gives Knoxville the opportunity to shock random passers-by with Irving's public drunkenness, lewd talk to women, disgusting bodily functions and self-inflicted injuries.
There are laughs in watching the discomfort of innocents who witness Irving wreck a funeral, cut into a male strip show, crash a wedding, confront an anti-child-abuse motorcycle club and (in a final scene lifted from "Little Miss Sunshine") enter Billy in a child beauty pageant in drag.
But sustaining a plot is a new experience to director Jeff Tremaine and the "Jackass" crew, and their attempt to stretch what amounts to a cruder-than-usual "Saturday Night Live" sketch to 90 minutes starts to drag.
'Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa'
Opens Friday, Oct. 25, at theaters everywhere; rated R for strong crude and sexual content throughout, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use; 93 minutes.